Which holiday would I rather skip? And why?
I agree with Dan Savage when says “Though these holidays are not manufactured by corporations, they’re definitely exploited, and mined by them.”
Navaratri for me with my south Indian upbringing meant the doll display that we call “gomebe idoodu” we became more cosmopolitan by importing the Gujrati culture of nine days garba. With the hype over Garba and subtle enforcement of it as Indian culture, we are now stuck with garba competitions, with the best costume in place. The grapevine says that people take garba lessons from a month before. The simple folk ditties in honour of the Goddess is replaced by loud vulgar Hindi movie number!!
The festival that celebrated Mother Nature has been entrapped into city halls.
When you hardly recover from this, the pre-diwali cleaning begins, and then is the mandatory shopping, of course the discount coupons loose validity after this. The focus of this festival in my childhood was family, farms, and harvest. Now we see the focus become shopping and entertaining.
Like Ted Allan observes, people who hardly ever cook at all, suddenly at the holidays, feel like it’s their responsibility to not only cook dinner for a large groups of people suddenly by to serve things that are fussy or fancy or formal. That’s not anybody really wants, especially if you’re not good at it.
At the end of the day I guess it is not the holiday, but the change in atmosphere and my own holiday related role that I resent.
Psst. Between you and me—I’ll share George carlin’s advice, a sound one at that—marry an orphan you’ll never have to spend boring holidays with the in-laws/